Sunday, February 27, 2011

Making it around the bend

Well, our son Justin came to visit this week with his family and he had some time to go down into the basement so we got to work on the curve around the first bend of the yard.
First we finished nailing down the last sheet of plywood that was up on the yard surface and installed some splice plates. Then we got out the bendable plywood and flexed it around the curve, tying it into a runner along the next side of the yard. You can see that board is pine stained to the right of Justin. It is also visible in the third photo where it joins the bendable plywood.
We secured the first layer and then cut another piece of plywood to fit behind that one. We then glued them together and used many clamps to hold them together until they dried. You can see the final product in the last photo.
The grandkids then came down and really enjoyed running around on top of the large expanse that had been created earlier. They lied down on the plywood and had the trains come out under their noses. I was jealous.
In the next couple of days I hope to build the framing to continue surfacing the yard area.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Supporting the yard

Well, yesterday I spent about 3 hours and got all the legs and braces in to support the substructure we had built. In the first two shots you can see how I moved from having the structure supported by legs to tieing into the existing bench work below.
The first shot has only braces from the lower benchwork where the framing crosses over the main line.
The second shot shows the other side where the shift from legs to braces is more dramatic. All the framing is very sturdy and somewhat rigid now. It just awaits the addition of the plywood decking.
The third shot shows the overhead from the track level below. I can only imaging how difficult it will be to deal with problems down here if any develop, once the upper level is completed.
The last shot shows our next challenge - we have to go around the corner as we turn north with the yard. I plan to make a curved edge to the framing on the left side and a series of compound cuts on the right side which will sort of mimic what is below. I have already put a tongue on the left side runner to accept the bendable plywood for the curved edge. You can barely see that if you look closely at the board.

Decking the engine terminals

As we look at the first shot, we see the main and branch line bridges ( the branch line has the train on it) coming over the Susquehanna River and entering Northumberland. We started here with our 3/4 inch plywood decking and then turned right as the line flows westward. In the second shot you see us looking from the bridges to the west where the main will go to the left of the column.
The third shot shows how the yard and main will flow around to the west and then curve north(right) in the distance. The yard will actually make a big loop as it turns around the room.
The last shot looks back from the new substructure area
to show where the diesel and steam engine serving and roundhouse will be.
This decking used almost 6 sheets of plywood so the engine and coach storage will be an area of about 190 square feet.
Those handsome legs are steel tubing that I made based on instruction from a friend of mine named Pat Mitchell. They were welded and then painted. I am about out of them so will have to switch to 2x4's for the future legs as we still have a way to go.
Interestingly enough, I have filled one lobe of the room now and have just one more lobe to go. The 2000 square foot room is beginning to look more full. My problem is that in the next stage, I will cut off easy access across the room and so will have to do a lot more walking about aisles to get to the different work areas.

Extending the yard - part 4

We have been working on extensive civil engineering projects as we extend the substructure for the future yard out over the top of the existing 8 track storage area. You can see in the first and second shot looking both up along the side and back that the cross members are now in place. The cross members have been preddrilled with 3/4 inch holes to carry the wiring for the tracks which will go above.
As you look at the third shot, you can see the way I have had to curve the bench work to bring the yard from the right up and over the lower storage area. The fourth shot shows also how they have aligned as the yard moves along. In the fifth shot you are looking down along what will be the diesel service area and see how the aisle turns left to flow along side the yard.
On the left wall, the branch line continues on its way up to the ceiling. It is the trackage you see in the far distance higher on the back wall. If you look carefully, you can see the white structure up under the lights and that is the 6 track holding loop hanging from the ceiling which is its destination.
Next I have to add the permanent legs to ensure every thing stays level and stable when I add the 3/4 inch plywood decking.